The Team at MHWW
Welcome to Solon, Maine, where we’ve lived and worked since 1989. Our shop sits next to our house, our house sits on a knoll along a dirt road eight miles from the nearest town center. The Kennebec River cuts a path through Solon on its way south. An hour to the west, Sugarloaf, Abrams and Bigelow Mountains; two hours north, Quebec; to the east two hours, the frigid Atlantic; and five minutes southeast, the Bosworth’s two hundred year-old dairy farm.
We moved to Solon after living nine years in Portland, where we owned the Portland Wine and Cheese Co. PWC had an open busy kitchen, eight of us chopped, sliced, kneaded, talked, laughed, cooked on Michael’s first Work Island. What pleasure we got from designing a kitchen where people worked efficiently together and where customers not only saw their food being prepared, but also joined in the talk.
After the arrival of our two sons, Mike and Gus, we decided to sell the store. Both of us have roots in rural small towns and we wanted the same for the boys. We found our house in Solon (a fixer-upper for years to come!) and with the joyful hustle and bustle of PWC’s kitchen firmly in our heads, we built a shop, determined to create kitchen furniture that invites people to spend hours in this most important (we think) room (or area) of the house. Solid pieces, designed for hard work, whose gleaming surfaces and clean lines are irresistible, inspiring family and friends to gather for hours, cooking, eating, doing homework, laughing, talking.
From the kitchen, we moved to the dining room, living room and eventually all areas of the house. Still in design stages: bed frame, sweater chest, hutch, file cabinet, bench that holds boots and mittens.
Michael studied under Gerard van Duyn at an experimental design school in Westport, CT, and again at the School of Design Communications at Fairfield University. He worked with wood as a tyke, both in his family’s barn and on their wooden sail boat. In 1969 he created his first chair, the wheelbarrow chair--a recliner made from an old discarded wheelbarrow, equipped with speakers and cushions.
Perky studied under Michael. She was (and is) supposed to be the Marketing/Bookkeeper of MHW, but instead she spends most of her time sanding, assembling and doing finish work, as well as taping the seats and backs of the chairs, stools, benches.
We treasure each piece of furniture that leaves our shop, know that each chair, each table, each work island is on a journey that will continue into the future for generations. For us, this is the meaning of Michael Hoy Woodworking.